Name: The Ladies Walk Loop
Distance: 5.1 Miles
Location: Andover, Hampshire
First in Series: GC4V796
Walked on: 27th December 2013
Weather: dry, sunny, windy
Terrain: Mainly byways and public footpaths and a quiet country lane. Hilly in places
Ascent: 604 ft
The route starts and finishes along the Ladies Walk that runs along the southern edge of Andover and parts of the loop form part of the larger Andover Orbital that I had already completed. The walk was a little muddy in parts but nothing a good pair of boots can’t cope with. Being close to town, it was hardly surprising that there were a few muggles about especially along the ‘Ladies Walk’ section, so a little stealth was needed. The trail passes the A3o3 twice so it gets a little noisy when you get close to it. We started the walk a little later than planned but managed to make it back to the car just before the light completely disappeared. The caches are in the main easy to find although I did have two dnf’s myself. Some of them are a little different to the norm to mix things up a bit.
Ladies Walk was laid out in 1785 and is part of the pre-Roman track known as the Mark Way. In 1863, 121 trees were planted along its length to commemorate the wedding of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (who later became King Edward VII) to Princess Alexandra of Denmark. As we walked along it we had a good view over the roof tops of Andover.
It’s wasn’t very long before we headed out into the countryside, going underneath the A303 and onto a byway that is regularly used by cars and motorbikes, there were a few bikes zipping up and down in a nearby field.
Before we reached the end of the byway the trail turned and through some fields. At this point we started a gentle ascent to the top of a hill.
As we reached a place called ‘Cow Down’ the sun started to set as we walked back towards the A303 on the way back.
We rejoined the ‘Ladies Walk’ going over the a new bridge decorated with public art on both sides. As we walked back along the footpath the light started to fade fast and by the time we reached the car it was almost dark. We enjoyed this series, just a shame about the two dnf’s.